It is extremely difficult to explain just how frustrating it can be to deal with constant contradictions with said reality (which appears psychotic and delusional due to the lack of coherence in regards to the logic behind decision making and current economic arguments coming from govts and industry) and that of lived reality. The two are at odds with one another and cannot be reconciled. The two are in opposition. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The information that we are repeatedly given, the endless repetition of flawed logic continues to run rampant and is again reiterated by a majority of people. The disconnect here is simply mind boggling. And no matter how much sense my intellect makes of connecting all the reasons for our current circumstances, my heart weighs heavy with the knowledge that it is unlikely that the change that is needed will indeed occur. This produces a conundrum for me on an individual level and it continually baffles me that my concerns, desires, and needs are diminished so often by others in such a way that I am often prone to despair and a deep sorrow that I can not alleviate.
Should I stay or should I go, the ultimate existential question we are faced with, one I do not easily share as I know the typical responses to my pondering of this question. Buy why? How is it that on an individual level to even contemplate taking ones life into ones hand produces such disgust, disdain, and a plethora of other sensations and feelings? How is it that when viewed on an individual level, it is seen as pathological rather than understandable? This too is at odds with our common reality. As a species we are on a path that is genocidal, homicidal, and completely suicidal. And yet we do not see this???? How is this even possible?
When so many people are denied dignity, are stripped of their personal integrity just so they may make a few bucks in order to survive, but to never truly live. How can anyone demand and expect people to suffer needlessly just in order to keep those of us living in relative comfort from having to change? It is inconceivable to me that the hidden expectations and demands of society disproportionately place so much blame and responsibility on those who have the least amount of power and control while abdicating the responsibility of those with power and resources. What is clear is that there is a total lack of understanding of issues surrounding the causes of poverty and the many barriers that exist to keep people locked in poverty. There is no desire to understand, no willingness. Yes there are people who care, but not enough. As governments step back, the onus falls to NGO’s to take care of everyone. But they are part of the system. They only work as bandaids and can never truly transform society. So much of our efforts are wasted simply due to our operating within the confines of this hyper version of capitalism that has arisen since the 70’s with deregulation of the finance sector and much of the protections that were in place for workers and the environment.
So the main issue really comes down to economics, capital, or currency. Doesn’t matter to me what term people prefer. For the sake of the rest of this piece I will use the word currency or capital, it is less offensive. There are many different forms of capital/currency. We have natural capital which includes all of our natural resources land, water, minerals, oil, gas, the sun and all that these imply. There is also social capital and emotional capital. Unfortunately we do not accurately assess these forms of capital and they are not included in assessments prior to development. I almost forgot intellectual capital, or that of creativity/imagination, and skills. People all over the world are realizing these various forms of capital and are developing systems that take all these various forms of capital and highlight as well as make use of these forms!!!!
Our current paradigm is on a collision course! The more the powers that be resist change the more they accelerate our decline and demise. They may have fancy complex tools and equations (economic, mathematical) but the fact is they are unnecessary. They have been duped by their own need for creating complexity where none is needed. Grade 1 math will suffice and it is increasingly clear that all the mainstream economic gurus and industry leaders as well as govt leaders have forgotten the basic skills of grade 1 math. Thats right folks, don’t listen to the know nothings on the television. Their way is inadequate (by design), missing the most important information required to make wise decisions. In other words it is bankrupt and will lead to bankruptcy complete and total bankruptcy!! Yup, environmentally, socially, creatively, and monetarily. Our poverty is not just that of finances, it is emotional, it is social, it is of the imagination, our environment. Money dominates our lives, it has infiltrated every aspect of our lives, and yet is insufficient. It has perverted our very being and has shrunk our world. It has warped our views and how we view ourselves in the world. There is no human nature that is inherent in us. We are products of our environment. If we create a hostile environment then it is ridiculous to expect people to rize above and be more. If we have a rich and loving society/environment, then people behave as such.
To hear lame statements such as ‘get a job’ or if you change your thoughts and only think good things, good things will return to you. What a load of shite!!! The whole positivistic ideology finds fault with individuals while ignoring societal responsibilities, governmental responsibilities, industry responsibilities. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for individual responsibility, but c’mon get real!!!! Individuals don’t live in completely isolated worlds of their own making. It is a hugely condescending way of thinking that is rather convenient for those who say such things. It ignores context, it ignores our common history and individual histories within the larger history. Our society creates dependancy and interdependancy. And when individuals lack in physical/material resources/currency, monetary currency, lack skills, health as a currency (forgot health-yikes!!!), and social currency, then how the FUCK is someone supposed to pull themselves up by the bootstraps???? There is a fancy expensive restaurant right next door to where I live, one that I can’t afford. Ever since this restaurant opened there is more class based violence that I am witness to. I hear the most hurtful things by monied people. I have heard monied people laugh at us poor folk, our poverty appears to be an endless source of amusement. But I ask you, how many people could actually afford their lifestyles without credit, financing, mortgages, and loans???
And lets look at the statement ‘get a job’ okay, well, hmmm, I’m on disability and I work and I still struggle month to month. Most people have to commute to get to work. If I didn’t have a bus pass(yearly) I wouldn’t be able to work. If I didn’t have a iphone and computer, I wouldn’t be able to work. These two items cost more than I can afford each month and a cheaper cel phone wouldn’t work for the kind of work that I do, so it necessitates a more expensive phone and hence plan. This is a very coercive thing, it is not out of choice. If I could function without these things, believe me I would!! It would save me $120-140.00 per month. But without these things I would be even more socially isolated than I currently am, simply because these are the preferred technologies that people communicate with and socialize with. So there are tonnes of people that DON’T have a computer. So how are people supposed to find work when everything is online? Yes, libraries have computers but there are time limits and many poor people would not be able to afford to print out resumes and also pay for the bus to go out and look. Even if people are able to find work, it often doesn’t make sense to take the job. It costs money to work. There is a strange tendency for people to eat more when they work (imagine that, eh?) and then there is the cost of transit. With so many jobs not offering full time hours, or consistent hours then the cost/benefit ratio actually works to people’s detriment not benefit!!! What if you need new clothes for the job, or better teeth? This statement of ‘get a job’ is obscene and nonsensical. The cost of living continually rises and wages simply do not cover the basic necessities (rent, self-care/hygiene products, food, clothing) let alone provide the ability to afford healthcare, dental, transit, or entertainment. No dentist, no entertainment (going to movies or anything else), no eating out, no haircuts (that aren’t free at the carnegie), yeah even going for coffee with a friend is a luxury that is ill afforded. Meaning to have coffee means not getting as much food. Any extra unexpected expenditures come out of food budgets!!!
One of the biggest determinants of health and well being comes in the form of social support networks. So even if a person receives assistance with food, shelter, and other life sustaining essentials such as healthcare, there is still the matter of any given individual’s social capital. If this element continues to be impoverished, then it is unrealistic to think an individual can sustain themselves in the long term. But this requires change. Mass change. A change in worldview, a change towards ethics. An ethics of caring and compassion. An economy of care, empathy. It is our biggest asset and makes life worth living. I cannot see my own survival let alone global survival without it. When you look at what governments are spending money on and what they ignore, it is clear where we are going. Governments are spending big money on weaponization, militarization, expanding the prison system, and subsidizing industries hell bent on destruction and waste, and increasing scarcity. To grow the homeless population is costly, not investing in prevention is costly, relying on NGO’s is costly, creating joblessness and job precarity is costly. To what end? You can’t eat money and you can’t take it with you when you die. We all die. So, I reiterate, for what purpose do we continue to do what we know fails. To what end?
When you fund weaponization and militarization (not for individual consumption) it means you have to create war to justify the expense. Look at whats happening with immigration law at a time when we are literally shrinking the landscape by our refusal to adapt and change to our changing environments!!! We are creating environmental refugees at an alarming rate and we make it increasingly difficult for people to be mobile in search of employment but create this very situation. Governments and industry always allow for segments of ‘illegals’ to work for next to nothing, but deny them legal entry. WOW! We then spread fear here in our country and abroad about the threat to jobs. Again…WOW!!!! Absolutely insane. Oh how easy it is to brain wash entire populations of people. THank fucking goodness, I’ve escaped somewhat unscathed, well, not really. My entire existence has been fraught with negative experiences with others simply because I have a different worldview. It is why I have to seek comfort in books, the occasional documentary, and with various minority groups who understand at least some of what concerns me(us all) and who also deal with adversity daily. So how can I continue my life amidst all of you others if you refuse to change but demand it of me, whether explicit or implicit? I tell you now,
My body dictates everything these days, I didn’t give it much choice, and now it leaves me none. My body suffers the insults and it cannot withstand all the lack we have created. My poverty is not just a money thing. Money holds very little meaning for me above and beyond needing it to purchase my bodily survival. Yes, I could use more of it but its not like I want lots of it. I’d like to be able to take a few dance classes, music lessons, art classes, or have access to a space in which I can do all these things on my own (with the supplies of course which I cannot afford). I want to see if I can create some of these spaces (a project I hope to implement). For me my survival depends on the ability to freely express myself. To dream once again, but for this to occur I need help, I cannot push forward alone. I lack social capital. This has a direct effect on me physically, psychically. There is only so much that I can do on my own and living all the contradictions is exhausting, it is a battle to be She every day. I didn’t ask for this battle, it became a necessary one. I am becoming and it takes a shit load of work and energy to push pass the denial that is inherent in the system that actively works to block me and each and every one of us (who isn’t wealthy) at every turn. Aren’t you tired of working for some strangers benefit rather than your own?
Do NOT say, yeah but its inevitable, there is no alternative, there is no excuse, rationalization, or justification for this kind of response. It is utterly ridonkulous, and nonsensical. There is no alternative…to resistance/action!! If we were truly individuals we would not be so easy to manipulate, control, and change in terms of our thinking(or lack of it) and behaviour. In William Sargant’s book Battle for the Mind, he explains just how easy it it to work over the mind and prepare a fertile open vessel that will replicate and repeat the necessary slogans and beliefs that work to the benefit of the 1%. Think of Pavlov and his classical conditioning experiments and you get your answer. The majority of the population in N. America has learned quite well the trained behaviour of learned helplessness. We are told we are special and unique and then treated and trained like dogs!!!!!
Sigh, ah to record what people say and play it back for them. Perhaps then there would be movement, if people could hear the sounds of their words and what those words imply, perhaps it would help create cognitive dissonance. It would be wise for people to understand some fairly basic psychological principles, because it is the most heavily utilized discipline known to man and it is used against us rather than to help us grow.